ARLINGTON, TX – (August 24, 2021) – The National Medal of Honor Museum Foundation (NMOHMF) today announced that Chris Cassidy, retired U.S. Navy SEAL and former Chief Astronaut for NASA, will be its new President and CEO. Cassidy is a decorated combat veteran who graduated from the United States Naval Academy and earned a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
During his military career, Cassidy served two tours in Afghanistan, receiving the Bronze Star with combat ‘V’ and a second Bronze Star for combat leadership service in Afghanistan. In 2004, his platoon was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for a nine-day operation at the Zharwar Kili Cave on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. As an astronaut, he completed three missions to space and ten spacewalks, accumulating 377 days in space, the fifth most in American history. In his personal time, he volunteered for and completed a 180-mile charity kayak paddle to raise money and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.
Cassidy will now lead the NMOHMF’s project to build the National Medal of Honor Museum and Medal of Honor Leadership Institute in Arlington, Texas, and the National Medal of Honor Monument in Washington, D.C. The project will preserve and commemorate the stories of the fewer than 4,000 courageous individuals who have earned the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest award for valor in combat. Today, just 67 Medal recipients are alive.
“I have dedicated my life to the service of others and country, and I am humbled by the opportunity to continue to serve by helping to lead this historic project. It is a privilege to do my part to honor the service and sacrifice represented by the Medal, its recipients, and all those who have served,” said Chris Cassidy, on joining the NMOHMF. “As President and CEO, I can think of no greater opportunity than to give back to the country I love by preserving and sharing the stories of these heroes with all Americans and encouraging all to live by the values intrinsic to the Medal. Today more than ever, we need to be reminded the things which unite us are so much more powerful than those which seek to divide. This project is truly uniting America.”
The Museum is scheduled to break ground in early 2022, and legislation to construct the Monument in our nation’s capital, funded by private donations, unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives just last month.
“Our mission to inspire America has gained an incredible leader with Chris Cassidy. As an active member of the veteran community, Chris knows how important it is to get this historic project right,” said Charlotte Jones, Chairman of the NMOHMF Board of Directors. “And as a pioneer in American space exploration, he knows how to lead teams to achieve the impossible. As we prepare to break ground on this important Museum, and move forward with the Monument and Leadership Institute, we are thrilled to have an exceptional American at the helm, working every day to inspire Americans to live up to the values of the Medal of Honor.”